You Carry Me

March 31, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 12:35 am

So I’m on new medication and it makes ms feel really sleepy all the time. I haven’t had a real anxiety attack in two weeks however on the meds I’m sort of in a fog all the time. When I’m off them, in down time I feel good and can crack jokes and am genuinely happy. I have the coolest boyfriend who says things like “tomooroh” because he’s Canadian, and am having a blast helping out with Jaelithe’s wedding. School went great this last quarter, I got a great GPA things are good. I just am feeling a little like I’m covered in maple syrup. In good ways and bad!


March 15, 2011

Leaps and Bounds

Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 6:13 am

It has been a few weeks since the last time I wrote.  I thought I would share a few crushing failures I’ve had and more importantly the victories and blessings of the last month.  First: I found a website that exactly describes my symptoms and I want to share that with the general masses because sometimes I feel my descriptions, while colorful really explain what it is I go through.  SO without further ado:

Panic disorder is twice as common in women as in men. Symptoms usually begin before age 25, but may occur in the mid 30s. Although panic disorder may occur in children, it is often not diagnosed until they are older.
Before a diagnosis of panic disorder is made, people with this condition often have had visits to emergency rooms and health care providers for symptoms related to possible heart attack or other physical symptoms.
A panic attack begins suddenly, and most often peaks within 10 – 20 minutes. Some symptoms may linger for 1 or more hours afterwards. During a panic attack, the person believes he or she is “going crazy,” having a heart attack, or about to die.
Panic attacks cannot be predicted. At least in the early stages of the disorder, there is no cue or trigger that starts the attack. Recalling a past attack may trigger panic attacks. How often and in what pattern they occur can vary.
Panic attacks may include anxiety about being in a situation where an escape may be difficult (such as being in a crowd or traveling in a car or bus).
A person with panic disorder often lives in fear of another attack, and may be afraid to be alone or far from medical help.
With panic disorder, at least four of the following symptoms occur during an attack:
Panic attacks may change behavior and function at home, school, or work. People with the disorder often worry about the effects of their panic attacks.


Those are pretty typical reactions for me.  A few Mondays ago my dear friend Nick came over–not Nick Vu, although he is a dear friend, and I became so overwhelmed by not being able to catch my breath that I spiraled into an episode.  We were watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe.  It was horrible.  I really enjoyed the movie, and wanted to keep watching it but couldn’t control my heart rate.  Nick ended up taking me to the emergency room at Northwest Hospital…a place with which I’ve become disturbingly familiar.

The doctor gave me Ativan.  Boy did it make me feel…sleeeeeepy.

Nick left and Nick Vu came to pick me up, because he is a dream and like a great BFF stayed the night with me to make sure I was alright.

It was that night that I started worrying about something I haven’t worried about in a long time.  This is an extremely high maintenance disease.  Who on earth would be willing to come alongside me and watch me go through this and continue to want to spend time with me.  It’s debilitating and it feels selfish and manipulative. Most times I feel like I’m burdening everyone around me, more than I am being burdened.  How can I expect anyone to love me when I am such a chore to be around.

But then in that darkness, there are people. My family, my friends, my dearest friend, Jesus.  They walk with me; they carry me.

Suzanne almost always answers the phone when I need her.
My mom taught me tapping, which has really calmed me down.
Nick, my emergency contact, is there to put me to sleep without question.
I have people amazing people praying for me.

And the other night I went to have dinner with the Krumdiaks.

For the first time in a long time I really felt determined to get better.  Kelly and Kevin gave me permission, allowed me to let myself take the medication I have been prescribed and offered me their support through the process.  Knowing there are people who are on my team is the most comforting and wholly providential thing I can think of.


I am starting a new relationship with the most wonderful guy I can imagine in my brain at this moment in time.

I don’t know what I did to earn favor in this way, but I am super stoked.

Meds are working, I am seeing a doctor on Wednesday to consider alternate treatments like acupuncture and massage; things are improving.  The quarter is almost over and I plan on making lots of road trips up to BC.  Look out Katie and Nate.

It’s not over, the hardship, and I know it won’t ever really be over, but things are looking up.


February 24, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 10:57 pm

I am finishing a long, very stressful week by flying to Palm Desert tomorrow evening.  I will cry as soon as we touch down.  I am exhausted.  Something they don’t tell you about anxiety is that it is a nightmare on your body.  In order to keep my mind occupied enough to not have panic reactions to things I have to stay up too late which makes my anxiety worse during the day…I have to eat foods that don’t give me acid reflux which triggers my panic reactions, my body is constantly tense, I never relax, I will probably have joint issues when i get older, I’m aging way too quickly.  I am looking forward to reading the rest of my book this weekend, so that my mind can have a short break, but I will also be finishing all my week’s assignments, cleaning out my inbox, and trying to overcome my fear of turbulance on the airplane.  Is tomorrow the day to try out my anxiety drugs again?  Possibly.

I am really looking forward to having health insurance again.  My friend Heather recommended a GP/Family doctor that I’m excited to try out.  I had the best doctor for awhile until she decided to quit her practice and go into business for herself.  Her name was Hope Wechkin, and she totally got me through some of the harder times of my stress and anxiety in the past.  I am hoping to find someone that I can really trust, that won’t make me feel crazy for coming in to her office every month 🙂  Healthcare is such an immense luxury.  I know that I will gladly give up shopping and fancier food and endless toiletries in order to go to the doctor more regularly.  I love the idea of trading in less important things for the relief of seeing a doctor.

In other news:

No, the boy stuff is too frustrating to discuss with the interwebs.

I will say this, I am really excited for two of my BFsF to get married this spring/summer.  I am lucky that so many of my friends have found wonderful men to marry.  It makes me so hopeful that there are not just a ton of terrible guys out there.  There are one or two keepers.

I can’t wait to share a home with my husband, cook dinners together and dance around to terrible music.  *sigh.

Next post: From The Pool

(that’s right, I’ll take my laptop in the pool

February 15, 2011

Birthday Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 6:43 am

This weekend was incredible.  I received much more love than I deserve from all ends of the earth and heavens.  Here are few things I’m grateful for:

1. That I had Spanish class on Valentine’s day. It takes the sting out.
2. That my Birthday is annually the day after lonely Valentine’s day.
3. I have really really wonderful friends and family.

On Friday night Suzanne, Jaelithe, and Rachel took me out for an amazing Italian dinner at Vita e Bella in Belltown.  Oh, I had the Gnocchi and it was fabulous.  We laughed and cried and overdosed on estrogen in the best way imaginable.

*quick sidenote: it is POURING rain right now.  I’m wickedly pleased that Valentine’s day is being rained out 🙂

Then we went back to Suzanne’s house and talked some more and I stayed the night because I was too wonderfully tired at the end of the evening to put my high heels back on.  I woke up and went to my fitness class which I will talk about later.
When I got home from fitness class my wonderful mother came over and brought the most amazing gifts.  She is truly blessed in the gift giving department.  I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to find a way to give incredibly touching and personal gifts.  This year she got me towels that miraculously match all of my bedroom decor, and she home made me a table cloth and matching runner and napkins!  She is really wonderful.  We then spent the rest of the afternoon at IKEA, or the Disneyland of Renton as I like to call it.  I bought myself a new plant and a new pillow and some chairs for our dining room, and my mom bought me some really fun plates with stars on them for entertaining!  We had a wonderful time together, strolling through the aisles people watching, laughing, talking about life.  It was magical.

Mom came back with me to my house where we began building chairs with Nathanael and cooking and preparing for my birthday party which was AWESOME.  So many wonderful people came and celebrated with me.  I was really honored.  Friends that I didn’t expect showed up, even those for whom it was a real effort to come.  I am overly blessed with wonderful friends.  We went to Karaoke and rocked some awesome/terrible songs.  The highlight of the evening, (besides finding used band aids on the floor of the rickshaw–it’s a real classy place) was singing “shape of my heart” with Suzanne and Rachel after last call.  Nick was a huge celebrity at the Rickshaw, Rocking all sorts of amazing dance moves and perfecting his role as cougar bait.  He spent the night at my house which was really more like two hours because I woke up at seven thirty to head to Bethany’s North satellite to sing worship songs with Jeremy Blocher.

Let me say that I have missed singing with Jeremy SO VERY MUCH.  It is a real blessing.  And I can’t say enough about the new North campus of Bethany.  Pastor Scott has engendered the most amazing atmosphere there.  I was crying nearly the whole time I was there it was so beautiful.  I just imagined the disciples walking through the back door and saying, “yeah, this is what we meant; this is what the church should look like.”  People gathering, anywhere they can to praise God and sing to him at the top of their lungs, unafraid, unashamed, to weep, to mourn, to come together and share their lives with one another.  It was the most moving worship experience I’ve had in the last few years.  I felt full, brave, and refreshed leaving church this week.  I spent the rest of the day watching Sense and Sensibility and drawing, I also caught a nap somewhere in there.  In the evening I went to the Outback steakhouse to celebrate my step-brother Mitch’s 26th Birthday.  He has wonderful friends too!

Today was fine.

So Saturday, at my fitness class we took our mid-term fitness assessments.  I was and still am furious with my results.
So, ironically I am well above average fitness standards.  In all areas of assessment I outrank everyone in my class and national averages.  That seems ridiculous given my body image, but apparently I am in great shape.  My doctor at the free clinic the last time I saw her told me I have the blood pressure of an athlete.  I can do thrice as many sit ups as anyone in my class, pushups too, my vertical rotations are plus eleven inches on either side…it’s ridiculous.
This all makes me foam-at-the-mouth angry because why then am I constantly feeling like I’m unhealthy?!  Why am I afraid to have my heart rate up when I know I’m in tip-top shape?  Why is my mind not reading the messages my body is sending it?  It’s so frustrating to know that I’m fine, with the exception of these times when I feel like I’m dying.  What the CRAP.
on that note:

I got my approval from group health today.  Starting March 1st I’m back on health insurance.  Phew.  Which begs this quesiton:

does anyone have an awesome General Practitioner Doctor within the Group Health network that they can recommend me?

Also: I got a light therapy box for my birthday…I start that tomorrow.  Maybe the tides are turning?

Either way, I thank God for every moment I’m alive.

Happy Valentine’s day, I have a lot of love in my life, I hope you do as well.


February 7, 2011

Yesterday Sucked.

Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 10:27 pm

This last weekend I planned a trip to Palm Springs to see my dad and Tanya and catch up on some homework, but more importantly to get some vitamin D.  It didn’t work out, I was probably fine but it looked to me like the flight loads were going to be too full for me to fly standby back home on either Sunday or Monday, and I hate the idea of potentially missing work because of non-revving.  That was okay in the end.  I cashed in my Christmas gift certificate for an hour long deep tissue massage on Saturday, that was excellent.  I went to a fun party on Saturday night, I had dinner with one of my best friends and her husband on Saturday evening before the party and laughed and ate pulled pork sandwiches (my favorite) and coleslaw and Paige’s insanely good chocolate cake, we had some of their new cabernet that they made from Yakima Valley grapes, and drank delicious Tripel beers and laughed and ate and drank and laughed and ate and drank, and I felt happy and healthy and loved, it was wonderful.  On Sunday morning Suzanne and I held our first couple-oriented high school small group, with Ryan and Denise Lily, and they were exceptional.  They taught us about looking for wisdom in your partner, what wisdom looks like in a relationship, how to determine Love from infatuation, how to fine someone who is Sine Cera (without wax) the latin derivitive of sincere.  I became accutely aware how good this series is going to be for me in my relationships with friends as well as with romantic partners by assessing how even on the first week of the series I am discovering some major flaws in my choosing process when it comes to men.  I have not consulted with friends or God when it comes to relationships in a very authentic way.  I ask, I recieve, but I don’t internalize the criticism if it’s not something I want to hear.  I make rash choices hoping they will be blessed, without thinking if they are already doomed to fail from the get go.  Needless to say, this series is going to blow my mind when it comes to relationships and making wise choices in relationships.

so about yesterday sucking:

those parts were great, and after small group I went to Paige and Patrick’s and hung out with Nick Vu and we planned my hilarious birthday party, which made me feel wonderful.  Then I went to lead worship with Eric for the four and the six o’clock service at Bethany.  Things went fine until halfway through the second service when I felt this tiny pin-prick of pain in my chest and started convincing myself that it was something other than stress or anxiety.  I mean I made it all the way through almost both services just fine, it was just the end that got to me, and I had a pretty major anxiety attack.  It has been awhile, but it was a rough one.  I went back and forth about whether I should go to the hospital.  I hate it.  I kept saying to myself how much I hated it.  I cried a lot and Nancy and Phil and Eric all prayed for me, but I can’t help but be really impatient with God when I ask, again, What is your plan in all this, it’s inhibiting me really living, can it please end already??


I am tired of being locked in this disease.

I had tea at Chrissie’s house and talked to Suzanne and my Mom on the phone, and felt better, enough to fall asleep, and am doing alright today.

AND i signed up for a new health insurance plan…so, we’ll see.


February 4, 2011

Late nights, Ten year Plans, New Moons.

Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 8:13 am

Another night, up past midnight.






I am exhausted.  This quarter is already taking a lot out of me.  I am not young and resilient like a college kid should be.  I am old.  I am becoming more aware of this as my birthday approaches.  I am almost twenty-seven, which in the grand sense of a lifetime is young still, but this year brings a new and horrifying realization.  I knew that eventually as I got older I would stop being excited for the next birthday, and this is the year that it begins.  I don’t want to turn twenty-seven at ALL.  I will officially be in my late twenties, running head-long into my thirties with no more an idea what I want out of life than I ever have.  I do have a shortlist though and I will run through those things quickly with you at this time:

1. health.  I want to have a grip on my mind and body in such a way that I feel carefree about a jog, or a bike ride or a trip in my car by myself.  I want to sky dive and bungee jump and only have exhilaration, no fear.

2.  Love. above all things I believe in love.  I want to be loved and I want to love in return, so much, too much, until I explode into a million pieces that turn into stars that shatter the universe.  Maybe that’s why my heart is always hurting.

3. A dog. A big dog.

4. a cottage in the country on a lane of some sort.

5. To see people all across the world receive the clean drinking water they need through the Love and sacrifice of others.

6. To learn  how to cook authentic Mexican Food

7. To sell a thousand copies of a record

8. To live in NY City or one of the five Burroughs.

9. To watch all my best friends and all my family members find real happiness in their lives, and share in their joy

10. To get a BA in something for which I’ll be proud of myself.

So there’s my ten-year plan.  Maybe I’ll get married in there somewhere, I sure would like to share that stuff with someone wonderful, and I’d like to maybe be a foster parent at some point, but for now, those are my goals.  I’ll probably get like ten more tattoos at some point too.

this week has been good for anxiety, with the exception of sunday night.
I also discovered I have a crush on Theron’s basketball coach, coach Thomas, so there’s the news.

also: I finished New Moon…is it too early to buy the next one?!?

(it’s terrible, nobody read the twilight series, it’s eating my brain, and I hate it…love it…HATE IT!)

January 29, 2011

part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 7:46 pm

I made it through another week.  It’s Saturday morning, for another twenty minutes or so and I’m still in bed, I lounged away the fog this morning and am contemplating going to the gym.  I have to go to the gym because I get credit for it for school, but I think today will be a yoga day.  I really enjoy yoga, even the kind that’s on my iPhone.  Back in September when the panic floods were beginning to rise I was in a pretty regular routine, and it felt great.  After one session however, I found my chest had gotten terribly tight and I was having trouble taking a deep breath.  Not being able to inhale deeply, the way you would if you were yawning is a major trigger for me.  I must point out again that these symptoms are getting better, I can manage it, but when they first appear it seems formidable.  Anyway, I would really like to go out for tennis in the spring, and my fitness coach set me up with an awesome routine to improve my serve, but it’s all sprints, and ugh, that is just about everything I hate about fitness all in one.  Heavy heart rate, hard breathing, endurance, I am low on the meter for all those things.  I’m going to try doing the track to warm up today, and then sprints on the treadmill, we’ll see how I do, maybe I’ll start with walking on the treadmill, then working my way up to running.  I took a kick boxing class on Wednesday, and I’m still sore.  My body was not ready for that kind of stress, but man, it felt good to sweat again for the first time in a long time.  So, I’m putting it off now, it’s time to hit the road.

But before I go, I’ll say this:  I got an email from a good friend this morning telling me about all she hopes for in a husband for me.  She has been married to a wonderful man who cherishes her and supports her through everything and as she was thinking about him she began to think of the man that is potentially out there for me, and here is some of what she wrote:

“I found myself thanking the Lord for a man I know respects me and believes in me and, when I am discouraged and can’t believe in myself (like this morning), holds me while I cry.
So I just wanted you to know that that is what I am praying for you to find someday. It is NOT too much to ask of God. If you wait on him and seek him, he will guide you to the right person to share the rest of your life with.”

So, OK.  Add that to the list.
Believed in and supported.

shoot.  That’s a lot.

I better get started.

Suzanne and I are starting a series with the girls in our high school small group called the Seven Secrets to a Healthy Dating Relationship.  Both her and I when discussing how we were going to go about teaching this unit commented on how we will be studying this unit for ourselves not just the girls.  It takes a specific passage out of the book of Ephesians and discusses how we should be looking for people in relationships (friendships and other) that relate back to us some of the qualities we see in this passage.  Things like discernment, joy, and optimism.  I am hoping to come out of this year with clearer eyes pointed toward becoming this person as well, a person of better character so that if God hands me a liberal cowboy with an irish accent and a madoline, I’m ready for him and I can see in him all the qualities that prove he’s the one for me.  (the cooking kind OR the musical kind of mandoline will do.)




January 27, 2011

You carry me. Part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — margaretlbaxter @ 9:55 pm

Y’know what sucks??  Anxiety.  And not just the uneasy feeling you get when you’ve done something wrong, or you think you left your wallet at the restaurant, or you’ve got a busy day ahead of you.  I’m talking, “oh, God, am I dying?” “Why are my hands shaking, why are they going numb, why is my heartrate higher than it should be, what should my heartrate be anyway?”  “What is that noise?  Did someone just get shot outside my window?  Does that person hate me?  Am I going to lose my mind?”  “I’ll go for a walk.”  These are some of the thoughts that run through my head.  Pretty regularly, less frequently lately which is awesome.  I think it’s a reaction brought on by stress but I don’t start therapy for another month so I’ll let you know when I’m seeing a therapist what they think.  I’ve been managing different levels of this disease since I was in the eighth grade when I became part of the Washington Middle School Senior Jazz Band.  This was no ordinary middle school band.  We were directed by Robert Knatt, the best jazz instructor in the nation.  Hands down.  He turned me, a mediocre alto sax player who could just barely read music, into second tenor in an award winning jazz ensemble that toured the country winning festivals when competing against high school senior bands.  We were sick man.  I remember being adjuticated after playing at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, (where we took sweepstakes over all the competing high schools including renowned jazz programs from Roosevelt and Garfield) and hearing the adjudicator say something along the lines of “I’ve never seen kids this young take direction so well, it’s like they know what I want them to do before I say it.”  I remember thinking, “yeah, duh.”

I knew I was a good musician, but I had HORRIFIC stage fright.  And I wasn’t worried about being judged.  I loved playing.  I loved the crowd, I loved the music, I literally LOVED my lead tenor player, Alex Mabe, (we were dating…middle school style…)  But I was terrified to go out there for one reason.  I was SURE I was going to wet my pants on stage.  I don’t know where that fear came from.  Freud would probably tell me that it came from an early career in pee problems.  I wet the bed until I was about thirteen, had multiple UTI’s before I ever got my period, and had at least two memorable moments of “accidents” while in elementary school, one in the gym in front of my gradeschool crush Jesse Sixkiller.  *sidenote: After that “accident” I got to borrow cutoff jean shorts from the school nurse and I thought I looked just like punky brewster.  I loved it, it did NOT condition me away from peeing my pants.  It was AWESOME.   So I had this horrible stage fright, because I was always in front of someone and I was afraid I was going to pee all over diamond vision at the Kibby Dome, or the King Dome, or whatever Dome we were playing in proximity to, and it made me sick to my stomach.  I would pee like four hundred times before a performance and even then, sometimes, I would just miss one because I was too scared to go on stage.  This fear has not gone away.  I can tell myself it’s ridiculous, but there it is nevertheless.  That’s not my only trigger, just the beginning of the story.

High school went fine, then the airplane stuff, that’s another story all together.

The tricky thing with generalized anxiety disorder, GAD, (egads!) is that it feels so physical.   I hate having a pulse above resting heart rate, (lately it’s getting better, and I go through good and bad seasons) because it causes my body to think I’m panicking.  Have you ever watched a horror movie and been freaked out?  It’s like that, only for a longer period of time.  Deep breaths.  That’s what I need.  Anyway, last quarter was really hard for me, from September to December.  I bet I could attribute Seasonal Affective Disorder to it as well, but I am already a Hypochondriac, so we’ll just stick with one mental illness for now 🙂

I started back to college, after nearly seven years off, and kicked my first quarter right in the asshole, but it was not easy.  I dreaded walking up the stairs to my Spanish class every time, even though I loved my Spanish teacher, and all my classmates.  I’m also working full time as a nanny for Theron and Anjelle, the lights of my life.  *sidenote: It’s funny to say that they’re the lights of my life, because, yes, they are, but work has been my toughest uphill battle of late.*
So I’m working and attending school full time, and balancing that with moving, friends, family, holidays, boys…ah, BOYS.


I have a problem with them, the boys.

I tend to date a lot of “Tucker Max” type guys.  I could give myself a lot of props for being full of charisma or whatever and only attracting guys who are either too funny, or too strong, or too cocky, or too smart, or too….soldiery, or too good looking (rare, but hilarious) for their own good, but I just don’t know how to pick ’em.  I end up with men who are far too into themselves to see beyond what I can do for them or how I can make them feel.  I know this sounds selfish, but I’m looking for a partner in crime, or more, a partner in comedy.

That brings me to a final point.

I love Jesus. That guy gets me.  I have been on a roller coaster of emotions the last year or so, and He never made fun of me, looked down on me (except from heaven) or stopped loving me.  In times of trial I tend to make selfish choices.  When I’m having an anxiety attack one tactic is to tell myself how strong I am, how I can get through this, to trust myself.  Truth is, I’m fragile, weak, spineless, and pathetic, but He’s got me, and gives me strength.  I have made selfish choices in my relationships in the last year, honoring myself over others, wanting what was best for me, or what felt best at the time instead of what would bless the ones I love.  He forgave me those wrongs, and kindly turned me around.  I don’t know where I’m headed, honestly.  I don’t think I will be a nanny forever, although I prove myself wrong every year I sign another contract; I don’t know where school is leading me.  However, I do know that Jesus is, as a youth pastor might put it, “kickin’ it with me old school, like 2000 year old school,” and that I am being carried through the worst of times and rejoiced with in the best.

More to come, including sordid, juicy details about high school.





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